Showing posts with label rank among states. Show all posts
Showing posts with label rank among states. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Georgia’s modest job growth places it 7th among states in September

Georgia continued its modest employment growth in September adding 9,100 new jobs over the month. The state’s unemployment rate stood at 5.8 percent compared to 6.9 percent, although this drop was partially due to the number of people dropping out of the labor force.

For the 12 months ending in September, the state has grown by 84,200 nonfarm jobs, an increase of 2 percent, the same percentage increase as for the nation. This placed the state seventh in the number of net new jobs over the year trailing behind California, Florida, Texas, New York, North Carolina, and Washington.
Georgia’s slowing job growth can be seen by comparing its most recent three-month average to the same period in 2014. Over the past three months, the state has produce an average of 7,300 jobs each month compared to 12,400 jobs the state was producing for the same time period last year.

One surprise this month was that August’s low initial job growth number (+2,200) was left unchanged in the monthly revisions.


September saw some severe changes in the fortunes of several industries both up and down. For example, manufacturing, which has been a slow growing segment, added 2,100 jobs over the month. Other industries that saw a sizeable pick-up in employment included government (+5,200) and education and health services (+3,200).

Professional and business services, which has been the state’s traditional growth engine slowed markedly in September, losing 3,400 jobs, while retail dropped another 1,900 employees.
Much of this may be attributed to seasonal adjustment factors that may play out over the next few months, making the three-month averages a better gauge of economic activity.

Still it remains a concern that professional and business services that has been such a mainstay of the state and the Atlanta area’s economy are showing such slow growth. For the three months ending in September, business and professional services have added an average of 300 jobs each month compared to the 3,600 job average the industry was posting at this same time in 2014.

Similarly, leisure and hospitality establishments are adding jobs at a rate of 700 per month compared to 1,800 per month for the same three months in 2014.

Education and health services hiring has also slowed with the industry adding an average of 800 jobs in each of the past three months compared to 1,700 jobs per month from July through September 2014.

Georgia 3-month average change in jobs for selected industries, July – September 2015, in thousands
Average monthly change in jobs 
July – September 2014
Average monthly change in jobs 
July – September 2015
All nonfarm industries

Professional and business services
Education and health services
Leisure and hospitality


 Georgia’s over-the-year decline in unemployment rate from 6.9 percent to 5.8 percent reflects a drop in both the number of unemployed (-55,663) as well as a pick-up in the number of people indicating employment (+44,128). The difference is attributable to the 11,535 people who have dropped out of the labor force.

This decline in labor force flies in the face of the general impression that the state’s population continues to grow, which should be resulting in a growing labor force rather than declining. No good explanation has been provided yet on why the state’s labor force continues to decline.